‘Sistah Summit’ in Boston says
‘Bail out women, not the banks’
Published Mar 19, 2009 7:46 PM
A thoroughly multinational crowd of more than 50 women and supporters filled the
cafeteria of Roxbury Community College on the afternoon of March 14 for an
International Women’s Day “Sistah Summit—Women Rise Up”
event organized by the Women’s Fightback Network (WFN). The program was
chaired by Miya X, Rachel Hassinger and Dorotea Manuela.
WW photo: Stevan Kirschbaum
Teresa Gutierrez, coordinator of the May 1 Coalition for Worker and Immigrant
Rights in New York City, which is mobilizing for massive May Day
demonstrations, gave the keynote talk. Gutierrez is also a coordinator with the
International Migrant Alliance. She spoke movingly of women in Mexico
organizing communities to bring food to migrants on trains on their way north
and fighting back against conditions of sexual slavery.
She went on to condemn the trillions of dollars being given to the bankers and
called on everyone to come out for the April 3 mobilization on Wall Street
being organized by the Bail Out the People Movement. Many in attendance
expressed enthusiasm and signed up to get on the buses to the Wall Street
demonstration. The women also signed on to the WFN’s petition to the
governor demanding an economic state of emergency be declared to defend the
people from the economic crisis.
Miya X discussed the history of International Women’s Day and described
the march in New York City on March 8 to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, site
of the 1911 fire and women’s resistance from which International
Women’s Day was born. She also led a tribute to Odetta, Miriam Mikeba and
other sister warriors who died in 2008.
Dorotea Manuela saluted working women warriors, including those who carried
through the Flint sit-down strike to victory in 1937. Sandra McIntosh of Work
for Quality, Fight for Equity spoke of the struggle for access to quality
education, which is under attack in Boston. Palestinian activist Layla Hijab
Cable gave an inspiring historical overview of Palestinian women resisting
Zionist occupation, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Diva Lisa Green gave moving testimony about domestic violence and organizing
efforts to fight back against it. Josephina Vazquez of the Boston Women’s
Fund shared her history as a member of the Young Lords Party and spoke of how
those lessons need to be applied today.
Amanda Ali of the young women’s group Reflect and Strengthen told how the
economic crisis is rolling over youth—with school closings, homes being
lost and domestic violence rising—and how youth need to organize locally
but also stand in solidarity with struggles for justice everywhere, like in
Tasha of New Era, a youth organizing project focusing on the HIV epidemic,
spoke of her group’s efforts to bring resources and awareness to young
people on protecting themselves and staying healthy.
A highlight of the afternoon was a stirring traditional Mexican dance
performance by La Piñata, a troupe of 30 young people led by Rosalba
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe [email protected]
Support independent news DONATE